I should have know things were about to get serious. The booth had my big four books. The Black Echo (with blue rebate band), The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King, Heaven's Prisoners by James Lee Burke, and Lullaby Town by Robert Crais. Written in pencil on the inside of this particular copy of Lullaby Town was a price I had not seen since I started paying attention to the book. It has been well above $400 for decade, and this price made my throat close. Ms. King's book was reasonable as well, and the Burke was in my wheel house if, unfortunately for my purposes, inscribed to someone else.
The Connelly loomed there on the shelf daring me to name a price that I would pay. And wouldn't you know it I hit right on its head. It was a steal at this price. I put it back on the shelf. I walked around giving the room one last shake, but much like The Vinegar Works I had already bought the book.
I had a momentary debate about picking up the Crais as it was just as good a deal, if not better. I abandoned the idea because at $75 over the Connelly I still actually had a limit to the amount I would spend. Back in the booth I picked the book off the shelf and handed it to the owner. He asked if I collected Connelly. I told him I did and in fact this would complete the collection. He shook my hand, took my money and wished me well. He also pointed out that I could come back the next day for Lullaby Town.